Today is Pentecost – the birthday of the church. Just like balloons and candles on a cake are symbols that represent birthday parties, Pentecost is recognised by the ideas of wind and fire. Wind blew into the room where the disciples were gathered, filing them with the Holy Spirit. And tongues of fire appeared allowing them all to have understanding of other people.
Today we also celebrate the baptism of Beckett. Of course, baptism is always associated with water. We rejoice in the way that water welcomes Beckett into our church family.
We have the opportunity to talk about Pentecost and baptism today as we are all gathered together in this place. This 100 year-old church building, on this piece of land which is made of bricks and wood…
I have been thinking about these four classic elements – air, fire, water, and earth. All these things that come together in our worship this morning: the wind and fire of Pentecost, the water of baptism, the earth on which we gather. My sister is a Wiccan. In their tradition, Wiccans believe in a fifth element – the soul. Each of these symbols, each of these celebrations, the purpose of this building… it would not mean anything if each of us was not here to share it together. It is each of us individually coming together to worship and celebrate and love and welcome that make this our church.